Winds of war / Tickets no more / Grocery lore

WINDS OF WAR. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (you may know him as Wayne Tracker) has declined to rule out the prospect of a preemptive strike on North Korea.

 The threat of North Korean missiles prompted Japan’s first civilian missile evacuation drill today.
 Trump tweets: “North Korea is behaving very badly.”
 The Trump administration has formally apologized to Britain over that wiretapping accusation.

‘A TOTAL ABANDONMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT WHAT WE ALL HOLD DEAR.’ The head of the nonprofit Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative condemns President Trump’s plans for cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency. (Tribune link; may hit paywall.)
 The president’s budget also would cut money for states with so-called “sanctuary cities,” like Chicago.
 The president’s reportedly considering a coal lobbyist for a top slot at the EPA.
 Charlie Pierce in Esquire: Eight state legislatures are “committing themselves to raising at least one generation of stone blockheads.”
 The U.S. House has OK’d a bill to let “mentally incapacitated” veterans buy guns.

YOU KNOW HE HAD SPELLING HELP WITH THIS. JUST NOT ENOUGH. President Trump tweeted this greeting early today: “Happy Lá Fheile Phadraig to all of my great Irish friends!” But it came in for ridicule quickly, because so many Irish immigrated to America. Also, it’s not spelled that way.
 Columnist Roger Simon quotes Trump: “There is no better word than ‘stupid.’
 The New York Times public editor is rebuking a Times reporter who tweeted a pun: “The outrage from @BreitbarkNews news is going to be through the woof.”
 Trump’s interview on Fox last night, annotated.
 FiveThirtyEight: The facts strike back.

TICKETS NO MORE. So many passengers are buying tickets online or through their phones that Metra has decided to close two suburban ticket offices.
 Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin: Illinois’ new license plates are worse than they first seemed.

GROCERY LORE.
 Strack & Van Til is closing in Bucktown.
 Whole Foods opens what the Tribune calls a “lavish” new Chicago store.
 Trump’s proposed cuts to the Meals on Wheels program have lost at least one Republican lawmaker.

SATURDAY NIGHT—LIVE FOR EVERYONE. For the first time in 42 years, for the rest of the season, Saturday Night Live will air simultaneously from New York across all mainland U.S. time zones—so, in the words of one exec, “everyone is in on the joke at the same time.”
 A broadcast company tied to Donald Trump is a candidate to merge with Tribune Media—including Chicago’s WGN-TV (third item in Robert Feder’s column).
 Netflix is dumping stars in favor of thumbs.

SHE PERSISTED. That’s the title of a children’s book former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton will release in May.
 And Breitbart covers it straight.

WASN’T THIS THE PLOT OF ‘HUMAN CENTIPEDE’? Now playing on Kickstarter: An iPhone case that’s also an Android phone.
 Google pledges to do a better job of keeping ads off pages or videos with hate speech, gory or offensive content.

WEEKEND LISTENING. Even with a bad grade or no credit, acceleration courses—like Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes—benefit high school students. (Podcast produced by your Square proprietor.)